Nevertheless, during this period, he remained, in essence, a dilettante. During , at the height of World War I , a change came over Conan Doyle's beliefs prompted by the apparent psychic abilities of his children's nanny, Lily Loder Symonds. The New Revelation was the title of his first Spiritualist work, published two years later. In the intervening years, he wrote to Light magazine about his faith and lectured frequently on the truth of Spiritualism. War-related deaths close to him certainly strengthened his long-held belief in life after death and spirit communication, though it is wrong to claim that the death of his son, Kingsley, turned him to Spiritualism, as is often stated.
Doyle came out as a Spiritualist to the public in , a full two years before his son's death. Doyle's brother Brigadier-general Innes Doyle died, also from pneumonia, in February His two brothers-in-law one of whom was E. Hornung , creator of the literary character Raffles and his two nephews also died shortly after the war.
His second book on Spiritualism, The Vital Message , appeared in Doyle found solace supporting spiritualism and its attempts to find proof of existence beyond the grave. In particular, according to some,  he favoured Christian Spiritualism and encouraged the Spiritualists' National Union to accept an eighth precept — that of following the teachings and example of Jesus of Nazareth.
He was a member of the renowned supernatural organisation The Ghost Club. In the magician P. Some later commentators have stated that he declared the clairvoyance manifestations to be genuine. Doyle believed that many cases of diagnosed mental illness were the result of spirit possession. He debated the psychiatrist Harold Dearden , who was diametrically opposed to Doyle's views. Doyle was also inspired by his Spiritualist beliefs to write a novel on the subject, The Land of Mist , featuring the character Professor Challenger.
He wrote many other non-fictional Spiritualist works; perhaps his most famous being The Coming of the Fairies  which reveals Conan Doyle's conviction in the veracity of the five Cottingley Fairies photographs. He reproduced them in the book, together with theories about the nature and existence of fairies and spirits. Initially suspected of being falsified, the photos were decades later determined to be faked along with admissions from the photographers.
Doyle was friends for a time with Harry Houdini , the American magician who himself became a prominent opponent of the Spiritualist movement in the s following the death of his beloved mother. Although Houdini insisted that Spiritualist mediums employed trickery and consistently exposed them as frauds , Doyle became convinced that Houdini himself possessed supernatural powers—a view expressed in Doyle's The Edge of the Unknown.
Houdini was apparently unable to convince Doyle that his feats were simply illusions, leading to a bitter public falling out between the two. Ernst , in which Houdini performed an impressive trick at his home in the presence of Conan Doyle. Houdini assured Conan Doyle the trick was pure illusion and that he was attempting to prove a point about Doyle not "endorsing phenomena" simply because he had no explanation. According to Ernst, Conan Doyle refused to believe it was a trick. In , the psychical researcher Harry Price accused the spirit photographer William Hope of fraud.
Doyle defended Hope, but further evidence of trickery was obtained from other researchers. Doyle and spiritualist William Thomas Stead were duped into believing Julius and Agnes Zancig had genuine psychic powers, both claiming that the Zancigs used telepathy. In Julius and Agnes Zancig confessed that their mind reading act was a trick and published the secret code and all the details of the trick method they had used, under the title Our Secrets!!
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Doyle's two-volume book The History of Spiritualism was published in Leslie Curnow, a spiritualist, contributed much research to the book. Campbell Swinton pointed to the evidence of fraud in mediumship and Doyle's non-scientific approach to the subject. Richard Milner , an American historian of science, has presented a case that Doyle may have been the perpetrator of the Piltdown Man hoax of , creating the counterfeit hominid fossil that fooled the scientific world for over 40 years.
Milner says that Doyle had a motive—namely, revenge on the scientific establishment for debunking one of his favourite psychics—and that The Lost World contains several encrypted clues regarding his involvement in the hoax. Doyle commissioned a newly-built home from Joseph Henry Ball, an architect friend, in , and played an active part of the design process. Doyle was staying at the Lyndhurst Grand Hotel during March and made his most ambitious foray into architecture: sketching the original designs for a third storey extension and altering the front facade to the building.
Superficial alterations have been subsequently made, but the essential structure is still clearly Doyle's. In , on a family trip to the Jasper National Park in Canada, he designed a golf course and ancillary buildings for a hotel. The plans were realised in full, but neither the golf course nor the buildings have survived.
In , Doyle laid the foundation stone for a Spiritualist temple in Camden, London. Doyle was found clutching his chest in the hall of Windlesham Manor, his house in Crowborough , East Sussex, on 7 July He died of a heart attack at the age of His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful. He was first buried on 11 July in Windlesham rose garden. He was later reinterred together with his wife in Minstead churchyard in the New Forest , Hampshire.
A statue honours Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where he lived for 23 years. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Main article: Arthur Conan Doyle bibliography. Biography portal Children's literature portal Poetry portal. The same source points out that in he was describing himself on the brass nameplate outside his house, and on his doctoral thesis, as "A. Conan Doyle" Stashower Sherlock Holmes Handbook 2nd ed. Google Books. Retrieved 11 February Sherlock Holmes for Dummies. The London Gazette. The entry, 'Arthur Conan Doyle, Esq. Retrieved 30 December Archived from the original on 2 February Retrieved 13 January Some sources say there were nine children, some say ten.
It seems three died in childhood. New York: Oxford University Press. The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle. New York: Random House.
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BookCaps Study Guides. In time, he would reject the Catholic religion and become an agnostic. Oxford University Press. Brewin Books. Herald Scotland. Retrieved 9 January Penguin Books. British Medical Journal.
Retrieved 2 February Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure. New York: University of Calgary. Retrieved 29 December Retrieved 27 January The Adventures of Conan Doyle. New York: W. The Victorian Web. Retrieved 21 October Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. New York: Checkmark Books, An Introduction to the Detective Story.
Retrieved 4 January Archived from the original on 7 June Retrieved 6 June Full-Time at The Dell. Hagiology Publishing.
ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 January BBC News Magazine. Retrieved 10 April Retrieved 2 March Sports Illustrated Vault. Retrieved 23 July The Manchester Guardian. Retrieved 20 September Pascal The New York Times. Retrieved 18 July The Telegraph. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, Archived from the original on 3 October Retrieved 2 October Cambridge University Press.
In Hodge, Harry ed. Famous Trials.
Masonic papers. Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry. Retrieved 13 March Conan Doyle and the Mysterious World of Light, — Life Is Amazing. Psychic News Archived from the original on 3 July Retrieved 28 May Hidden Memories: Voices and Visions from Within. Prometheus Books. The Illustrated History of Magic.
Greenwood Publishing Group. Is Spiritualism Based On Fraud?